POLITICAL NEWS

Election Calendar at a Glance

Consolidated Election – April 7, 2015

September 23, 2014

First day to circulate petitions for independent, new political parties and nonpartisan offices. (90 days before last day to file)

November 21, 2014

Last day for municipal clerk to publish notice of municipal caucus in municipalities with population over 500.  (In municipalities with a population of under 500, notice shall be given by municipal clerk posting the notice in three of the most public places in the municipality)

December 1, 2014

Date of municipal caucus - must be held (in municipalities under 5,000) which have established parties

December 15-22, 2014

Petition filing period for nominating petitions of new political party, nonpartisan, and independent candidates as well as certificates of nomination for established party caucus candidates. (not more than 113 and not less than 106 days prior to the consolidated election)

December 30, 2014

Last day to file objections to nominating petitions of new political party, nonpartisan, and independent candidates as well as certificates of nomination for established party caucus candidates

December 31, 2014

Last day to conduct lottery for December 15-22 filing period (conducted within 9 days following the last day of petition filing)

January 5, 2015

Last day to file petition for public question

(certain exceptions apply)

January 7, 2015

First day any registered voter within the confines of the U.S. to make application by mail or in person to the E/A for an official ballot. (90 days prior to election)

January 20, 2015

Last day to adopt a resolution or ordinance for binding/advisory public question

January 29, 2015

Certification of ballot by SBE

(68 days before consolidated election)

February 5, 2015

Last day to file a Declaration of Intent to be a write-in candidate with the appropriate election authority or authorities (61 days prior to the election)

February 26, 2015

First day for mailing or delivery of absentee ballot

March 10, 2015

Last day for registration or transfer of registration within the office of the election authority. Registration closes 27 days preceding an election.

March 11, 2015

First day for grace period registration and grace period voting in the office of the election authority or at a location designated for this purpose by the election authority. Grace period voting may be done by mail at the discretion of the election authority. (begins at the close of registration and continues until the 3rd day prior to the election)

March 23, 2015

First day for early voting at the office of the election authority or at a location designated by the election authority for this purpose. (begins 15th day preceding election and extends through the 3rd day prior to an election)

April 4, 2015

Last day for grace period registration and grace period voting in the office of the election authority.  Grace period voting may be done by mail at the discretion of the election authority. (3rd day prior to election)

Last day for early voting at the office of the election authority or at a location designated by the election authority. (3rd day prior to the election)



Stockwell Named Severns Integrity Award Winner


Retiring Macon County Auditor Amy C. Stockwell has been selected for the 2014 Penny Severns Integrity Award. She will receive the honor, sponsored by the Macon County Jefferson-Jackson Club in association with the Macon County Democratic Central Committee, at a reception from 6 to 8 p.m., Aug. 6 in the Scovill Golf Course Banquet Center at 3909 West Main Street in Decatur.
The Severns Integrity Award is named in honor of the late State Senator Penny Severns. It is presented to elected officials at either the local or state level who embody the dedication, honesty, and integrity demonstrated by Severns in her career.
The reception will feature keynote speaker Toni Preckwinkle, President of the Cook County Board of Commissioners. President Preckwinkle has been a dedicated community leader for over two decades, providing independent and progressive leadership. Elected Alderman in 1991, President Preckwinkle was elected to her current post in 2010 and is transforming county government into a world-class institution. She is improving the quality of life for her constituents while championing fiscal responsibility.  
Appointed auditor in 2002, Stockwell took office amid Macon County’s worst financial crisis since the 1930s—a $3.1 million internal debt threatening the continuation of vital services. Providing solid financial information and projections, she helped provide the systems necessary for sound financial management and good decision making. Although challenged by declining population and property values, Macon County has responsible reserves and a process which balances costs and benefits.  
Earlier this summer, Stockwell announced she would retire September 5 after 12 years as Macon County Auditor. Stockwell said, “It has been my great honor to serve the citizens and taxpayers of Macon County. The excellent team we have—including all three branches of government—is realistic and accountable, serving its citizens well. I will always be deeply appreciative of being able to work with this team, of your trust in me and of the privilege of doing this work.”
Anyone interested in attending should contact Jay Dunn via email at jayalandunn@gmail.com or by phone at 433-9218.

Mike Bell Calls on Rep. Scherer to Honor her Promises

Springfield- Mike Bell (R-Edinburg), candidate for the 96th District, is urging his opponent, Rep. Sue Scherer (D-Decatur), to honor her promises to the residents of Central Illinois. Scherer has campaigned on a pledge to cut the salaries of lawmakers, including her own. Last week however, she voted to raise the pay for all Illinois legislators.

“The citizens of this district deserve for their representative to live up to her word,” said Bell. “But Sue keeps following a pattern of promising one thing to voters, then doing the exact opposite.”

This budget vote came just days after a similar move from Scherer. Despite campaigning to oppose an extension to the current income tax hike, Scherer voted for another budget that was based on extending the tax hike.

Bell said that, as for her most recent budget gaffe, Scherer was quoted in several media sources as saying that she didn't know the pay-raise was in the budget plan when she voted for it.

“If that's the case, then she cast a vote on one of the most important bills of the year without knowing what was in it. What other important bills did she vote on without reading?” asks Bell. “So either she doesn't do her homework, or she hasn't been honest with voters. Both are scary propositions indeed.”

Bell points out that Scherer began her political career by promising voters she would take on the Illinois political establishment and the status quo. Then she promptly began accepting tens of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from Mike Madigan and the Chicago Democrats.

“Who else represents the political establishment and the status quo more than the Chicago Democratic Machine? They've been running this state into the ground for years. It certainly looks like Sue is just taking their money and their marching orders,” said Bell. “It's time for a change. I take my directives from the citizens of Central Illinois, not Mike Madigan and Pat Quinn.”



Congressman Rodney Davis Endorses Mike Bell
for State Representative


Taylorville- Congressman Rodney Davis (R-Taylorville) is joining with concerned citizens across Central Illinois to support Mike Bell (R-Edinburg) in his candidacy for the 96th House district.
“I believe that as a legislator, Mike Bell will be a true workhorse for the families and businesses of the 96th District,” said Davis. “He is responsive to constituents. He understands the issues. He has the background to represent our area.”
Congressman Davis cited a long working relationship with Bell on projects including the completion of a 4-lane Illinois Route 29 from Springfield to Taylorville. He noted Bell's leadership on the Project 29 Committee, and how he dedicated himself to see that project finally enter the final stages.
"He is a tireless advocate who I believe will work hard for the people of our area and will be a true voice for us at the State Capitol,” said Davis.
Davis also noted Bell's experience as an educator with the Department of Corrections, and as a teacher in the Edinburg School District. Bell has made education a primary focus of his campaign, vowing to work to ensure that school funding is both adequate and fair. Davis and Bell also stand together in opposing any new income tax increases, and in their support to repair the economy the right way, by growing business and jobs.
“It is absolutely humbling to hear such kind words from a man I respect so much,” said Bell. “As a Congressman, Rodney Davis has been a true champion for the people of this great state. He is an inspiration to me, and I vow to follow his lead in helping to take Illinois back for the people.” 




Ann Callis

13th Congressional District Race 
Ann Callis: My Candidacy Brings
Fresh Perspective


By Paul Osborne

Ann Callis, the Democratic candidate running against incumbent Rodney Davis (R-Taylorville) in the 13th Congressional District, sat down with me at the Decatur Tribune one morning last week, to talk about her campaign.
Callis, of Edwardsville, is a former chief judge of Illinois' Third Judicial Circuit -- a position she resigned so she could run for Congress.
Callis told me her worst day on the campaign so far was the day when she announced she was resigning her judgeship and running for Congress.
“I made both of those announcements on the same day which probably wasn’t a wise thing to do,” she said.  “I had been a judge for so long that I had really lost my professional persona.  That day was the most difficult day I’ve had.
“I can say, on a more personal note, that my son, who enlisted in the army following his graduation from college, was deployed in January, in the middle of the primary race.  I can say, as far as my personal life, that was the hardest day of my life, in saying goodbye to my boy.”
Her son is an Army Ranger and is presently serving in Kuwait.
When I asked Callis if she had already planned to resign her judgeship, even if she didn’t run for Congress, she said, “No.  There are strict rules which required me to resign to run for Congress.  I know it was a huge risk to step down from being chief judge, because I was able to do so many positive things, but I recognized there is a wider range of opportunities to help people when you are serving in Congress.”
Overall, Callis was a judge for 18 years and chief judge for 7 of those years.
“That’s when I really learned you can help people through serving in public office,” she said. “We were able to start such programs as the first veterans’ court in the state -- with no taxpayer expense.”
She talked about assembling a lot of volunteer help via attorneys for such programs as foreclosure mediation work that has saved over 130 homes -- with very low cost in maintenance for the program.
She indicated that “I didn’t care if the person involved with the committee was a Democrat or Republican.  I just wanted the best person to serve on that committee to get the job done.  I think that type of message resonated in the primary and will continue to resonate in the general election.”
Her opponent, U. S. Rep. Rodney Davis, has reported raising $2 million dollars for his re-election campaign during this campaign season, about twice what Callis has raised so far.
When asked what she would bring to the people of Macon County that they are not receiving now, Callis replied, “a fresh perspective”. 
Callis said that, during the visits she has made to Macon County, she has personally ob-served that “people are really hurting”.
“I’ve seen that we have people in Macon County that are choosing be-tween diapers and food,” she said.  “I think we can do things immediately to help people and that includes raising the minimum wage.  Six out of the ten minimum wage workers in Illinois are women.  Many of them are heads of households.
“I think we also need to extend long-term unemployment benefits.  I think people that I talk to really are looking for work.”

Sees A Lot Of Hurt, Hope

Callis said that, although she sees a lot of hurt as she is traveling around the district, she also sees a lot of hope.
“I think I am an effective listener and I am anxious to hear new ideas about what we can do.”
Callis also said that Decatur and Macon County have a lot to offer and business and labor don’t have to go head to head on moving the area forward.
“We can work together and form a coalition, which is what I did when I served as chief judge...build a coalition to get things done.”
Callis emphasized that Macon County has a lot of opportunities to create jobs in the future by building on the assets that are already here.  She indicated the leadership and programs are here to move in positive directions in such areas as wind energy.
She indicated that PELL Grants should not be cut in the federal budget because they help people who would not have the opportunity to go to college. (A Pell Grant is money the U.S. federal government provides for students who need it to pay for college.)
“Everything is going to be a challenge, but I would be ready to work from day one to make our communities better,” she said.
As far as her stance on the Affordable Health Care Act, Callis said that everyone agrees the rollout was awful  
“No one disputes that,” she said.  “The subject comes up a lot and since I’ve come in after it became law, I’ve made it a point to listen and look at it from a different perspective.  If there are issues with parts of it, then we need to work through those issues for as long as it takes.”
Callis said that one of the issues that’s been raised to her, was about rising rates, and if that is a real issue, then  those concerns need to be addressed.
“I’ve talked to a lot of people who have been helped with the Affordable Health Care Act,” she said, adding those parts that are troublesome need to be fixed.




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